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Oldest American, Adele Dunlap of New Jersey, turns 114

PITTSTOWN, N.J. - The New Jersey woman who is the oldest American is another year older.

Adele Dunlap received balloons, and fellow residents at the Country Arch Care Center in Pittstown on Monday sang “Happy Birthday” to the 114-year-old.

But The Record reports Dunlap didn’t appreciate the fuss. Asked what she was thankful for, Dunlap said, “Gee, how should I know?” As for a birthday wish, she responded, “I’ve never thought of such a thing. I don’t wish for anything.”

She also said it was her 105th birthday. Despite the fact she was born Dec. 12, 1902, in Newark, she often gives a younger age when asked how old she is. The nursing staff and her family say it’s her habit to shave about a decade off her age.

Dunlap became the country’s oldest person in July following the death of Goldie Michelson, of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Dunlap taught school before marrying and settling down to raise the couple’s three children. Her husband worked for an insurance company and died in 1963.

She doesn’t give an explanation for her longevity, and her 86-year-old son, Earl, is also at a loss to credit any particular thing for his mother’s long life.

“It’s hard to say,” Earl Dunlap said. “She never went out jogging or anything like that. She’s not really thin, but she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She smoked, and when my father had his first heart attack, they both stopped. I think she ate anything she wanted.”

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